Who do you say that I am?
It’s a question we have to answer for ourselves. It asks us to go beyond the pat answers we have learned or the cultural Jesus stereotype with which we are surrounded. Who is this Jesus for us in our personal lives? How does his life impact ours? Do his words affect our living? “Who do you say that I am?” The answer will disclose as much about us as it does about him.
Lord, that I may see.
Ponder the question. Think of your image of Jesus. Read some contemporary writing about Jesus. Does Jesus impact your life in any meaningful way?
Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”
I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them.
We believe with all the strength of our spirit that mankind has a supreme, primary and irreplaceable need which can be satisfied only through Jesus Christ, the first-born among men, the head of the new humanity, in whom each individual reaches full self-realization.
Pope Paul VI
In our day theology has retrieved the genuine humanity of Jesus Christ, remembered his concrete story, realized his liberating power for the poor and oppressed, and probed the breadth and depth of his saving power for the peoples of the world and the whole earth itself.
The whole point of the kingdom of God is Jesus has come to bear witness to the true truth, which is nonviolent. When God wants to take charge of the world, he doesn’t send in the tanks. He sends in the poor and the meek.
N. T. Wright
Jesus disclosed that God is compassionate. Jesus spoke of God that way: “Be compassionate, as God is compassionate.” Compassion is the primary quality of the central figures in two of his most famous parables: the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan. And Jesus himself, as a manifestation of the sacred, is often spoken of as embodying compassion.
My point, once again, is not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally.
John Dominic Crossan
Even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardour of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ of old.
I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.
As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene….No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.
The message of Christ is not Christianity. The message of Christ is Christ.